The plumbing in your home is a complex system, or rather three, when you look at it more closely. Installing and keeping a plumbing “network” efficient, leak free, and quiet is very important to the integrity of the home for resale value and living in. One leak in the home can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Plumbing can be one of the costliest systems in the home, so having a decent understanding of how it works can help you optimize your plumbing. Materials used have changed over the years and can be made of galvanized iron, plastic, or older plumbing made of copper. Appliances will quit, valves and hoses will need replacements, but the integrity of your plumbing no matter its material will likely last as long as the house itself if properly maintained. Let’s look at the 3 main systems that make up your home’s plumbing network.

Water Supply

The water supply is the system that is bringing clean water to your home from the street or well and then your system branches off and distributes it to different rooms. The water enters the home at 50-60 psi (pounds per square inch), a measurement used to determine water pressure.

Drain-Waste-Vent System

The clean water is brought into the home through the aforementioned network, and the dirty water leaves using gravity and drainage pipes (such as from your bathtubs and sink drains). Air is also sent through the pipes to insure that water is flowing efficiently through the pipes. The dirty water is sent to a septic tank or city sewer for treatment. This system is one of the most crucial of the home and your plumbing. Drain pipes make sense, but one complicated feature of this system is the much necessary vent pipes. These pipes are strategically placed to vent sewer gases caused by the dirty water and prevent them from stinking up your home. They also allow the draining water to maintain the most optimal pressure for drainage and smell. It’s extremely important to follow code when installing this system. You can imagine the consequences. Clogged drains, anywhere within the system, are the main cause of issue in the DWV system. Looking for clogs will be your first step of action if you catch wind of an unwanted smell.

Gas Supply

If you have a gas range stove, your plumbing will also include a gas supply line that’s considered part of the plumbing. Otherwise, bathrooms and kitchens systems are simple. Both have hot and cold water lines coming in, and waste lines going out. Appliances such as dishwashers and garbage disposals are just tied in easily with existing plumbing under your sink.

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